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Old 11-21-2012, 11:17   #1
Strizzi
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Just getting into reloading, brass question

Quick question.. How many times can you reload brass before its no good?

Thanks!
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Old 11-21-2012, 11:24   #2
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Reload it until it splits or you see a bulge.

And after that break out the duct tape.
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Old 11-21-2012, 11:25   #3
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Reload it until it splits or you see a bulge.

And after that break out the duct tape.
Duct tape will work but it's so ham fisted. I'm a super glue guy. It's just more elegant.
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Old 11-21-2012, 11:25   #4
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And after that break out the duct tape.
I prefer glue. Duck tape workd better on rifle brass though.

Last edited by dkf; 11-21-2012 at 11:26..
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Old 11-21-2012, 11:39   #5
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Rifle brass has a very short life (in general) compared to straight wall pistol brass like 9mm, .45acp, .38/.357, .44mag, etc.

I have been reloading my .44mag brass for quite some time.
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Old 11-21-2012, 11:44   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Strizzi View Post

Quick question.. How many times can you reload brass before its no good?

Thanks!
Don't load to excessive pressure and avoid excessive belling of the case mouth and they'll last a long time.

I load in batches of 100. When they start to split, I load the remaining cases one more time, then throw the entire batch away.

I throw away very few cases, because they rarely ever split.

I've loaded 45acp cases so many times that the headstamp is completely gone, and you can no longer read the caliber or manufacturer's name. Those old cases are still going strong.

..

Last edited by JBnTX; 11-21-2012 at 11:49..
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Old 11-21-2012, 11:46   #7
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double post

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Old 11-21-2012, 11:48   #8
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I don't pay much attention honestly.I know I probably should but I load around 1000 rounds at a time since my girlfriend and I both shoot 9mm.

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Old 11-21-2012, 11:49   #9
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Duct tape will work but it's so ham fisted. I'm a super glue guy. It's just more elegant.
I do have some issues with chambering at times.

I'll give the glue a go. Thanks
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Old 11-21-2012, 11:55   #10
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Pistol last so long that you will lose it before you want to throw it away. Get a bunch of seed brass (once fired) and start loading. Try to collect it all. Don't worry about tracking range loads at all. Load to mid level or a little more if you like but don't worry about the brass in the process. Just inspect it before or after loading.
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Old 11-21-2012, 12:14   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve in PA View Post
Rifle brass has a very short life (in general) compared to straight wall pistol brass like 9mm, .45acp, .38/.357, .44mag, etc.

I have been reloading my .44mag brass for quite some time.
It just depends. If you neck size or partial FL size for a bolt gun & stay off max loads, getting 10x reloads out of a case is not difficult. In handguns, the lower the pressure the longer the case life. I have loaded 45acp so many times you can no loner read a headstamp. Mangum rev cases can go 10x before you start seeing neck splits w/ full power loads & heavy crimps. So it just depends.
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Last edited by fredj338; 11-21-2012 at 12:15..
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Old 11-21-2012, 12:24   #12
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For most straightwall pistol cartridges, the brass will last a very long time. With moderate loads...

For rifle brass, you may see the primer pocket get loose after just a couple of loadings if the brass itself is soft. Better brass, like Lapua, will last longer.

It is certainly possible to pick up range brass. However, most ranges want to claim everything left behind because they sell it and really need the money. Don't be surprised if picking up brass, other than your own, is discouraged.

OTOH, on active pistol ranges, it might be common to see many hundreds of pieces of brass left behind. At the range where I shoot, they now have a $150 fee if a group DOESN'T clean up their brass. No more free range brass!

Starline brass is available for pistol cartridges and Lapua for rifle so, if absolutely necessary, brass can be purchased. I wanted to increase my inventory of .45 brass so I bought a couple of thousand pieces of Starline. Same story for 9mm. I MAY do the same for .40 S&W after I load up the Federal brass I have been saving. Federal .40 brass isn't necessarily highly regarded by reloaders.

Richard
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Old 11-21-2012, 12:31   #13
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I prefer glue. Duck tape workd better on rifle brass though.
Reloading
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Old 11-21-2012, 12:49   #14
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Hi,

It really depends on the cartridge - some pistol cartridges have very strong brass and can last through many loadings (15-20+). Others depend on different factors such as how generous your chamber is and how much the brass is worked when resized, the pressure level of the cartridge, etc.

I agree wholeheartedly that brass inspection is VERY important. You can get cheap good brand new brass directly from starline at very reasonable prices.

Good luck,

Alan
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Old 11-21-2012, 14:51   #15
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JB Weld is stronger than superglue but you have to change your load a little to compensate for the loss of case capacity.
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Old 11-21-2012, 15:34   #16
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Regardless of brass manuf, what determines the longevity are the pressures you run & the tightness of the chambers. Some brass is worse than others, like Federal, will have fewer reloads under high pressurs than IME. So it just depends.

IMO, buying new service pistol brass is just foolish. Once fried is far cheaper & you lost one reload vs new for quite a bit less money. At my local IDPA club, we shoot thru 50-75 shooters twice a month. More than half are shooting factory ammo. I will never have to buy service caliber brass again in my lifetime. Rifle brass, for say the AR, buy it once fired as well, far cheaper & you are going to lose it or have it fail sooner than say a 100rds for a bolt gun.

I love Lapua rifle brass, but it is quite expensive. It does last a long time sized correctly & staying off max loads, but so will cheaper brass like Winchester. What makes Lapua so good is it's uniformity. It needs little if any brass prep for max accuracy.
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Last edited by fredj338; 11-21-2012 at 15:40..
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Old 11-21-2012, 20:48   #17
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Haha I'll make sure to stock up on duct tape and super glue as well!

I'm getting get all my reloading equipment for Christmas from my better half, ill probably only reload pistol and start with 40 and 45. I've been saving my own brass for a while now so I'm good on that.

Thank you guys for all your help I appreciate it!
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Old 11-22-2012, 01:23   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBnTX View Post

I've loaded 45acp cases so many times that the headstamp is completely gone, and you can no longer read the caliber or manufacturer's name. Those old cases are still going strong.

..
Quote:
Originally Posted by fredj338 View Post
I have loaded 45acp so many times you can no loner read a headstamp.
Yep... You know how they say it's like a bad penny - always turning up? I have one that keeps getting into circulation I call the General. It's about the ugliest most tarnished beat up piece of pewp you could imagine, but it still holds a primer and keeps on truckin'. Next time I come across the General, I'll take a picture.


Keep in mind that .45's operate at low pressures. With magnums and rifle rounds you should be much more diligent. Heck, even .40 or 9mm +P runs at almost twice the pressure as .45 auto.
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Old 11-22-2012, 07:58   #19
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Just once, if you screwing up...

I had some 1965 national match .45 ACP brass come up in a batch I loaded last week. No telling how many times its been fired.
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Old 11-22-2012, 22:21   #20
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You mean I can put away the soldering iron? Cool.
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